TitleUnderstanding Multiple Benefits of Floodplain Restoration from Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge in Madera County, California
Resource Author(s)
  • Alex Ehrens
  • Annika Leiby
  • Alex Milward
  • Nicole Schmidt
Year of Publication2021
Link to Report/
Full Description

Groundwater is a critical component of California’s water supply portfolio. Due to excessive pumping, many groundwater basins have been depleted, causing undesirable results. The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 requires Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to implement strategies to bring groundwater use to sustainable levels. This requires balancing groundwater withdrawals with recharge, which is the process of replenishing aquifers through the infiltration of surface water. The California Department of Water Resources has emphasized Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge (Flood-MAR) as a management strategy with the potential to provide multiple benefits in addition to groundwater recharge. However, the capacity of Flood-MAR to achieve those benefits is spatially dependent and remains largely unknown. This project provides an analytical framework for determining priority areas for achieving flood risk reduction benefits, ecosystem enhancement benefits, or both, while simultaneously replenishing groundwater through recharge. The results from this framework produce a spatial distribution of priority locations for multiple-benefit recharge projects within the two groundwater subbasins in Madera County. This project conducts a tradeoff analysis between the co-benefits of flood risk reduction and ecosystem enhancement to demonstrate its ability to make recommendations to stakeholders with various management preferences. This project provides an additional strategy to strengthen the management toolkit available for stakeholders seeking to bring their groundwater basins to sustainable levels under SGMA.

Featured Image CreditMaven's Notebook
Resource Host Organization, Partner Organizations (Optional)
  • Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
Topic Area(s)
  • Environment – Terrestrial and Riparian/Aquatic
  • Hydrology Observation and Prediction
  • Land Use Planning and Management